With Thanksgiving just around the corner, holiday menu-planning at our house is in full swing – not only for recipes you’ll see here on A Family Feast, but also for our own family gatherings! My husband Jack is always looking for creative and interesting twists on traditional holiday classics – and these Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce are a delicious appetizer for any family gathering!
These tender and flavorful meatballs are made with a mix of ground turkey and Italian sausage that has been seasoned with a hint of Chinese five-spice powder. Then they are served in a sweet and tangy sauce made with cranberry sauce, pineapple juice, sweet chili sauce and balsamic vinegar that is the perfect complement to the flavors in the meatballs!
With all of the entertaining that we do around the holidays, Jack and I are very aware of all of the food we’re buying – and we try to make smart choices at the market. Lately, those choices are to Become Carton Smart by purchasing foods that come in environmentally-friendly cartons just like these:
Just take a look around your supermarket and, once you start searching for it, you’ll be amazed at all of the great food products that are now packaged in Tetra Pak cartons! From traditional holiday classics like Pumpkin Puree:
Cranberry Sauce (which we used in our recipe today):
And Chicken Stock:
…To soups, milk, juices and many other foods – cartons are a smart choice!
Here’s an info-graphic that explains even more:
Not only are cartons a smart choice for the environment, but they are a smart choice for your family. The unique carton packaging process preserves the flavor and nutrients of food without the use of preservatives – and I love that the cartons are re-closeable so you can use what you need and save the rest for later.
- 1 8-ounce demi-loaf (white or wheat bread)
- ½ cup milk
- 2 whole eggs, beaten
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup sweet chili sauce (the sweet tomato-based kind such as Heinz; not the hot chili sauce made from peppers)
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground turkey (dark, or white/dark mix)
- 1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casings
- ¼ cup finely minced onions
- 2 tablespoons garlic, pressed through a garlic press, or very finely minced
- ½ cup finely shredded carrots
- 1 cup chili sauce (same as above)
- 2 cups Pacific brand Jellied Cranberry Sauce
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 6-ounce can of pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoon corn starch
- Remove the crust from the bread and place it in large bowl and cover with the half cup of milk. Turn the bread several times so all of the milk gets absorbed. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the sauce.
- In a medium Dutch oven (three quart size), place chili sauce, Pacific cranberry sauce, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. In a small bowl mix pineapple juice and corn starch and add to mixture. Heat and stir until the ingredients have blended and the sauce is thick. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
- Once the bread has soaked for the full 30 minutes, wring out the bread with your hands, squeezing out as much of the milk as possible. What remains should be a good full cup of wet bread. With your hands or a spoon, break up and mix the wet bread until it is really mashed. Add eggs and with a fork, mix well. Add Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, five-spice powder, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly again until very well blended. This step can be done in a stand mixer however the meat must be mixed by hand.
- Add ground turkey, Italian sausage, onion, garlic and carrots and gently work the mixture with your hands until mixed. Try not to over mix.
- With a scoop, measure out 75 meatballs about one ounce each and place on a tray that will fit in your refrigerator. (They will be rolled later so don’t worry about getting them perfectly round at this point.) Place the meatballs in the refrigerator to set up for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove meatballs from the refrigerator, and with a bowl of water for wetting your hands, roll the balls into rounds. As you roll each meatball, place on a parchment lined sheet pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and add the cooked meatballs to the sauce. Cover the Dutch oven and place back in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, pour into a serving container and serve, or skewer cooked meatballs and serve on a platter.